Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Sebelius plays the Katrina card

"And then the evil Karl Rove pointed his tornado machine at Kansas..."

Yesterday, Governor Kathleen Sebelius blamed George Bush for the state of Kansas' "lack of hummers, front loaders and dozers" that were going to be needed to help out the good people of Greensburg. "We tried to tell George Bush this was a problem", she whined.

The governor said about half the state's National Guard trucks are in Iraq, equipment that would be helpful in removing debris. Sebelius, who asked the Pentagon in December to replenish lost resources, said the state also is missing a number of well-trained personnel.

"I don't think there is any question if you are missing trucks, Humvees and helicopters that the response is going to be slower," Sebelius said. "The real victims here will be the residents of Greensburg, because the recovery will be at a slower pace."

Could this be true, I wondered? It had to be true. Surely, she wouldn't be trying to capitalize on the misery of the citizens of Greensburg in their time of need, would she?

Um. Yes. It certainly looks that way. The National Guard responds:

The Kansas National Guard's 278th Sustainment Brigade has established a joint task force near the incident site. In addition to search-and-rescue efforts, the troops are working on power generation, logistical support, debris clearing, support to law enforcement, supporting establishment of shelters and distribution of food and water.

Currently, the Kansas National Guard has 88 percent of its forces available, 60 percent of its Army Guard dual-use equipment on hand, and more than 85 percent of its Air Guard equipment on hand, said Randal Noller, public affairs officer for the National Guard Bureau.

Under the Emergency Management Assistance Compact, which is a national partnership agreement that allows state-to-state assistance during governor or federally declared emergencies, Kansas has more than 400,000 Guardsmen available to it, he pointed out.

However, Kansas has not yet requested assistance from other states.

Additional information of the Guard's involvement in Greensburg can be found here:

Emergency response continues in Greensburg.
Response and recovery operations continue in Greensburg.
Tornado hits Greensburg: Governor declares State of Disaster Emergency.